Autumn is a lovely time of year. The weather begins to change as the leaves fall. Your favorite sports teams are all in full swing, and the holidays are pleasantly lurking right around the corner. The couch and some scented candles become your best friends. The Danes have a word for this; it’s called “hygge,” defined as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. Well, doesn’t that sound nice.

There’s also another phrase for this, it’s called “all my summer fitness has gone down the drain, so I guess I’ll start wearing sweaters to hide my weight gain.”

Get back on the bike!

The line between coziness and laziness gets very blurry this time of year. After all, it’s beginning to get a little too cold to go for a run outside for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Add to that the fact that the sun is setting at an absurdly early hour, the motivation to be active can begin to fade. 

Complicating matters further are the ongoing pandemic restrictions still impacting many of our favorite gyms and workout facilities. However, one industry that has persevered throughout the pandemic is the relatively new space of health and fitness apps. Think brands like Peloton, NordicTrack, or even Apple Fitness. It’s no surprise that when people are locked indoors, they find ways to pass the time. One such way was through these exercise apps, which saw an increase in installs of 67% in March 2020. Peloton alone has seen subscriptions grow over 100% year over year.

While installs tumbled a bit over the first half of 2021, workout sessions increased by 31%, indicating that although some physical gyms were starting to reopen, many were opting to keep using their new’ home gym.’ Fortunately for both fitness apps and physical gyms, there is a secret weapon to keep users engaged as we look to the end of the calendar year; that weapon is SMS.

Using SMS to engage the fitness community

For those unfamiliar with fitness apps, they work similarly to traditional exercise classes. There is a schedule with multiple instructors teaching all sorts of different courses. Through the mobile app, users could reserve a seat or indicate their intention to take a class. If users are already using their phones to schedule classes, would it not make sense to market them on the same channel?

As we move toward colder weather, workout platforms have a tremendous opportunity to keep their users motivated via simple SMS alerts. Two-thirds of consumers want to receive communications and alerts from brands via text.

A notification sent to a member any time their favorite instructor posted an on-demand class, for example. Or perhaps if a user is a fan of a particular music artist, they receive an alert anytime that artist appeared in a workout class playlist. That’s just scratching the surface though; inform users of new challenges, merchandise drops, when their friends are working out, or even when new software updates exist. 

At home or in-person

Apply the same logic to a traditional workout facility: using SMS to market classes, new instructors, or even facility upgrades. Gyms could even take things a step further by enabling two-way SMS to allow users to book classes or discuss workout plans with their trainers. 

Merely waiting for doomed New Year’s resolutions to drive traffic back into gyms, both virtual and otherwise, is bad business. Fitness apps should be using digital channels to maintain their positive momentum in the market, whereas legacy gyms should be using an aggressive digital strategy to turn the tide. 

We all know a small reminder from our phone can be just the catalyst we need to take action. If you’re a marketer working in the fitness space, you should shoot Mitto a text at +1 (424) 653-3380 to get your users back on the bike. The ‘hygge’ can wait until December.